Next phase of £15million road improvement works set to start in Cannock

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A major road scheme in Staffordshire to provide access to a new £160 million retail development and improve traffic flow on the roads around is progressing to its next phase.

The works being carried out by the county council will pave the way for the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet in Cannock, which is set to be completed in 2020.

McArthurGlen has committed £15milliion to the improvement scheme, taking place at Churchbridge and the A460 Eastern Way.

From Monday December 3, Hayes Way will be closed from the junction of Eastern Way to Pheasant Way so work can be carried out safely. The closure will be in place for the duration of the works. Bus companies have been notified and people are being advised to check diversions with bus operators if their route runs along Hayes Way.

By closing this junction, the project team will only need to have three-way temporary signals, rather than four-way. This will significantly reduce waiting traffic when compared with four-way signals.

The closed link means that traffic will be unable to join the A460 from Hayes Way and be unable to turn into Hayes Way from the A460 island. Local traffic will need to use the alternate routes of Hayes Way and Heath Way to access the Lichfield Road A5190 or the Hednesford Road B4154. The A460 will remain open to traffic.

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport Helen Fisher said: “The McArthurGlen Designer Retail Outlet is a hugely important development for Staffordshire and the wider region. It will create jobs and bring visitors into Cannock, boosting the local economy.

“The road improvement scheme is therefore vital in paving the way for the development. Undoubtedly it will create some disruption in the area but it is a necessary part of the development. Traffic management has been carefully planned to minimise disruption as much as is possible.

“Closure of the Hayes Way junction will ensure there is much better traffic flow on the A460 and prevent any confusion that would be caused by frequent changes to traffic management.

“We would ask people to allow additional time if traveling along this section of the A460 and would like to thank people for their ongoing patience.”

Cannock Chase District Council granted planning approval for a designer outlet at Mill Green in September 2016 following extensive consultations with the local community. On-site construction of McArthurGlen Designer Outlet in Cannock started this summer. When it opens in 2020, this new landmark retail destination and community hub will create 1,000 jobs for the local area.

The county council and development partner Amey are carrying out the road infrastructure works, which will include;

  • Access works and improvements on the A460 Eastern Way, Churchbridge interchange and Orbital Way.
  • Widening the A460 Eastern Way to a dual carriageway and creating slip roads to the designer outlet.
  • A new underpass and access to the site from the A460. New footpaths and cycle ways will also be installed. Before the underpass is built, a temporary road will be built so no closures of the A460 are needed during peak times and traffic can continue to flow.
  • Widening both the eastern and western A460 legs at the Churchbridge junction to provide two lanes in both directions
  • Widening Orbital Way on the eastbound side, improving the Lodge Lane and Churchbridge roundabouts and installing new toucan crossings on Eastern Way.

Balfour Beatty – Supplier Engagement Day

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Date and Time
Wednesday, 21 November 2018
08:00 – 10:30 GMT

Crewe Hall
Weston Rd

Balfour Beatty will be delivering a programme of significant highways and structures projects between Crewe and Stoke through 2019, 2020 and beyond.

On behalf of Cheshire East Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council , Balfour Beatty will be delivering a programme of significant highways projects between Crewe and Stoke through 2019, 2020 and beyond.

We are keen to engage with members of the supply chain looking to work collaboratively with us to deliver the high quality works required to meet our customers’ expectations. As such we will be holding a partner event at Crewe Hall Weston Rd, Haslington, Crewe CW1 6UZ on 21st November 2018 at which Balfour Beatty will give an overview of the programme; explain our supply chain procurement options for delivering this work and explain how interested businesses can become a Balfour Beatty supplier.

If you are active in the North West and/or Midlands areas and would like to be considered for any of the following trades, please come and see us. We will have buyers, estimators, commercial and delivery teams on hand to meet you and answer your questions.

Registration – 8.00 to 8.30 Presentations – 8.30 to 10.30

Work categories required
Ground Investigation
General Civils
VRS / Barrier
Street Lighting
Traffic Signs
Road Markings
Traffic Management
Precast Concrete
Formwork ad Reinforced Concrete
Structural Steel work
Ground Improvement

INVESTSTOKE - News - 1918 Memorial Crush Hall - Wide Shot

Developer backs ‘Stoke-on-Trent Remembers’ campaign with £10,000 cash boost

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St. Modwen has pledged £10,000 to support the four-year initiative, which has seen a host of activities take place across the city.

As part of the commemorations, Stoke-on-Trent City Council unveiled six 8ft tall silhouettes, made from galvanized steel. Created by local artist Andy Edwards, the silhouettes depict servicemen from the six towns of Stoke-on-Trent (Burslem, Fenton, Hanley, Longton, Stoke and Tunstall) with a passage that describes their valiant contributions and experiences in the conflict.

The panels will be will be installed in the servicemen’s home towns.

‘Stoke-on-Trent Remembers’ also encompasses community events, with open days at the restored Bethesda Chapel, an art exhibition titled ‘For The Fallen’ at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and a concert of celebration on Armistice Day to remember the city’s heroes.

St . Modwen has established strong ties with Stoke-on-Trent since being appointed to develop the 1986 Garden Festival site and has created successful commercial developments at Festival Park, Etruria Valley and Trentham Lakes. The developer is also behind the revitalisation of the Trentham Estate and Gardens.

The Trentham Estate team recently unveiled a ‘Thank You Wall’ at Trentham Shopping Village, with the opportunity to purchase and place a poppy sticker on the wall, with proceeds going to the Royal British Legion.

Guy Gusterson, property director, Midlands and North, St. Modwen, said: “We’re passionate about giving back to communities in the areas we develop and are delighted to honour the proud history of Stoke-on-Trent. This November marks a very poignant anniversary and we’re pleased to be able to support the council in bringing about new ways to remember the servicemen who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

£15 million highway improvements programme set to begin in Cannock

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Major works to provide access to a new £160 million retail development and improve traffic flow on the roads around it are set to begin next week.

Cannock Chase District Council granted planning approval for a designer outlet at Mill Green in September 2016 following extensive consultations with the local community. On-site construction of McArthurGlen Designer Outlet in Cannock started this summer. When it opens in 2020, this new landmark retail destination and community hub will create 1,000 jobs for the local area.

As part of the development, McArthurGlen has committed £15 million to a highway improvements programme to facilitate additional traffic and ease congestion on roads. The county council and development partner Amey will carry out the road infrastructure works, which will include;

  •  Access works and improvements on the A460 Eastern Way, Churchbridge interchange and Orbital Way.
  • Widening the A460 Eastern Way to a dual carriageway and creating slip roads to the designer outlet.
  • A new underpass and access to the site from the A460. New footpaths and cycle ways will also be installed. Before the underpass is built, a temporary road will be built so no closures of the A460 are needed during peak times and traffic can continue to flow.
  • Widening both the eastern and western A460 legs at the Churchbridge junction to provide two lanes in both directions
  • Widening Orbital Way on the eastbound side, improving the Lodge Lane and Churchbridge roundabouts and installing new toucan crossings on Eastern Way.

Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: “This is a major road project which is supporting the development of what will become a big regional and national visitor attraction for Cannock and Staffordshire.

“It is a county council priority to ensure we have a thriving economy and McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Cannock will play an important part in this – bringing people into Staffordshire and making a positive impact on the county. The project is also bringing in improvements across the wider area which is good news for the community.

“The highways works are absolutely essential to the delivery of the overall development. We will see a significant increase in traffic around the area and this scheme will provide suitable access to the site and improve traffic flow on surrounding roads. Our highways team has put in a lot of careful planning to this project and as part of this will be the construction of a temporary road to ensure there is no closure of the A460 while the underpass is built.

“With any project of this size there will be some disruption, so we would ask people to bear with us during these essential works. Once completed, the road network around the site will help to ensure the designer outlet is a success.”

The improvement and infrastructure works are scheduled to start on November 12 and are set to complete in 72 weeks.

People can sign up for email updates on the project using the sign up to alerts feature on the county council website homepage.

More information about the highways improvement scheme can be found on the county council’s transport pages at or people  can contact 0300 111 8000.

For information on the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Cannock people can visit

Atlas Copco completes move to i54 South Staffordshire

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Global Swedish engineering group, Atlas Copco has completed its move to a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Mucklow Park, part of i54, South Staffordshire.

The property is now the new global bolting innovation center for Atlas Copco, one of the world’s leading providers of innovative bolting solutions.

The bespoke facility provides 46,000 sq ft of production and office space for 80 employees and the company expects this number to grow as the operation expands.

Midlands property company A&J Mucklow Group provided a full end to end design-led solution for Atlas Copco delivering a new facility incorporating tenant fit-out.

Totalling 15 acres (6 hectares), Mucklow Park is located at the gateway to i54 South Staffordshire, one of the UK’s best connected advanced manufacturing hubs. The scheme has outline planning, benefits from superfast broadband and i54 is already home to manufacturers Jaguar Land Rover, MOOG, Eurofins, ISP, and ERA.

Joint agents Cushman & Wakefield and Bulleys are the letting agents at Mucklow Park, i54.

Justin Parker, Managing Director of A&J Mucklow comments: “Atlas Copco is a fantastic addition to Mucklow Park and the wider i54 scheme which is now the ‘go to’ destination for advanced manufacturing occupiers given its prominence and ease of access plus it’s strong local labour force. We have further land which is immediately available to provide purpose built facilities for occupiers from 40,000 sq ft.”

Councillor John Reynolds, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, speaking on behalf of the i54 South Staffordshire Partnership, said: “Our joint investment in i54 has already secured hundreds of millions of pounds of further investment and brought thousands of jobs to the area, with 40 per cent of employees living within a ten-mile radius.

“Atlas Copco’s expansion comes on the back of significant investment by ERA and Eurofins. Most importantly, these are high-end businesses providing skilled local jobs and research and training facilities. All this furthers i54’s reputation as a leading regional hub for advanced manufacturing and engineering.

“It also demonstrates demand is high for more accommodation from potential investors and the western extension will enable us to deliver that for the benefit of local residents and businesses.”

The Atlas Copco group was formed over 28 years ago and the company designs, manufactures and distributes a wide range of class leading hydraulic bolt tightening tools.

The state-of-the-art facility incorporates Research and Development, engineering design, production control, sales support and administration, CNC machinery, quality control plus assembly and test facilities providing global support to its worldwide customer base.

Australian company establishes European HQ at Keele, Staffordshire

Posted by | Keele University Science and Business Park, News | No Comments

Australian healthcare company, Orthocell Ltd, is a regenerative medicine company committed to improving the lives of patients suffering from serious musculoskeletal conditions by developing innovative products that restore patient mobility, function and performance.  They have recently established their European HQ at Innovation Centre 1 at Keele University Science and Innovation Park, saying the space ‘ticks all the boxes’.

European Manager, Kevin Edwards, commented: “The UK has a lot to offer to foreign investors such as Orthocell.  The Department of International Trade’s regional inward investment team have been very helpful in providing a pathway to MedilinkWM who, via their Industry Innovation Gateway role for the WMAHSN, helped us to find excellent regional academic and clinical partners and a location for our business through their links to Keele University Science and Innovation Park.  We knew it was the best fit; it ticks all the boxes for achieving our goals and ambitions.

“Keele University Science and Innovation Park has a fantastic reputation, access to great cell regeneration laboratories, world-leading academics, and great surgeons at University Hospitals of North Staffordshire NHS Trust (UHNM) and Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) in Oswestry.  Being located here in the Midlands is just what we wanted, with great UK and international transport links as well as leading clinical and surgical work both in the orthopaedic trauma and dental sectors right on our doorstep.”

Since becoming tenants, Orthocell have been working with Keele University’s Professor Nick Forsyth and regulatory bodies to build a strategy for introducing regenerative therapies for treating musculoskeletal diseases into the UK market, building on their recent CelGro collagen medical device CE Mark for bone and soft tissue reconstruction and established orthopaedic and dental treatment work in Australia.

Professor Nick Forsyth, Director of Keele’s Institute of Science and Technology in Medicine and Professor of Stem Cell Biology, said: “Keele University and RJAH have a rich legacy of orthopaedic cell therapy developed under the stewardship of the late Professor Richardson.  This legacy, combined with the future vision, product range and commercial expertise of Orthocell, creates a fantastic partnership opportunity.  It is with great delight that we welcome Orthocell to the region and look forward to working with them in regenerative medicine for the musculoskeletal system beyond the bounds of Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital and expanding our regional excellence into a position of national prominence.”


St. Modwen schemes to support the creation of over 1,000 jobs

Posted by | Etruria Valley, Meaford, News, Trentham Lakes | No Comments

Work is expected to begin in January on a range of industrial and logistics units in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire which could create more than 1,000 jobs.

Birmingham-headquartered developer St Modwen is behind the projects at Etruria Valley and Trentham Lakes.

Planning approval has already been granted for five units at Trentham Lakes, ranging from 22,000 sq ft to 250,000 sq ft.

The company is set to be told next month on whether it has also been given the go-ahead for the next two phases at Etruria Valley, comprising a trade park scheme as well as a 43,000 sq ft standalone industrial and logistics unit. A further planning application for 51,000 sq ft on the same site has also been submitted.

The schemes are in addition to the development at Meaford Business Park, where St Modwen has already speculatively built 36,000 sq ft of industrial and logistics space, with planning secured for a further two industrial warehouse units, one 50,000 sq ft and the other 22,000 sq ft.

Euan Lindsay, senior development manager at St Modwen, said: “The north Staffordshire area continues to offer great opportunities for investment and our work across these three key sites has attracted major names and created a significant number of job opportunities.

“We’re keen to ensure Etruria Valley, Meaford Business Park and Trentham Lakes reach their full potential – and with a further circa 570,000 sq ft in the pipeline – we’re confident they will.”

James Clements, head of Midlands logistics and industrial at Knight Frank, added: “It is fantastic to see St Modwen committing to bring these sites forward at such a crucial time.

“There is a lack of good quality supply in this size range across the region, and developments like this are necessary to satisfy demand.”

David Whitehouse from InLIFE

Partnership launched to boost digital innovation in communities and businesses

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A partnership which will explore and deliver digital innovation in Staffordshire to improve people’s lives and boost business productivity has been officially launched.

Staffordshire County Council and Staffordshire University will be working together to create a range of opportunities to support a thriving local economy, increase skills and improve health and wellbeing by making the most of the latest digital technology.

The Staffordshire Deal, which was launched in Stafford today, aims to raise aspirations of students, communities and businesses.

The university is celebrating over 50 years of computing excellence and is a leader in digital technology. It is aiming to create thousands of apprenticeships over the next decade, embedding digital skills to support the needs of local business. Schools are also set to benefit from the university’s Microsoft Digital Skills programme, which aims to improve learning and knowledge of students and teachers as well as creating digital apprenticeships.

In addition, digital innovation events will be delivered in Stafford as part of extending the university’s presence across the county – supporting businesses by driving innovation and improving productivity.

Over the next five years the Staffordshire Deal sets out to:

  • Create 900 digitally enable apprentices
  • Produce 3,000 digitally enabled graduates
  • Ensure 100 businesses are engaged in digital innovation
  • Retain 50 % more digitally skilled graduates in the local area

David Whitehouse is chief executive and founder of digital marketing agency InLIFE, based in Burntwood. He is a computer science graduate from Staffordshire University and helped launch the Deal at an event in Stafford on Friday.

David, who attended Chase Terrace High School and Stafford College, began his career in IT support and then became a web designer for Phones4U. He later  worked in web design at Staffordshire University.

David said: “I eventually followed my ambitions and set up my own business, a digital marketing agency, in 2011. I started on my own but was determined to help local students, particularly after the support I had received as a student myself.

“My first employee was from Stafford College and is now a partner in the business. I later took on a work placement from Staffordshire University who became a full time employee, before taking on a third person who had also worked with us as a university placement.

“It has been great to work with newly graduated local students as they bring fresh knowledge and enthusiasm to the business. Now after seven-and-a-half years and with six members of staff, the business has grown and we have a range of customers in the UK and internationally.

“It is now 15 years since I graduated it has been amazing to see the speed of change in the digital arena. It is brilliant to see this deal embracing this fast-paced digital environment. It will be exciting to see what the next 15 years holds.”

Staffordshire County Council leader Philip Atkins said: “These are exciting times and we are working continually with a range of partners to ensure we are a more prosperous county where people are better skilled and have better paid jobs.

“Successful partnerships are vital to this delivery and so we’re pleased to mark our close working relationship with Staffordshire University this week. It is at the forefront of the digital age and this partnership will ensure that county residents and businesses fully benefit from its expertise and leadership.

“Modern technology is helping to boost efficiency and transform how we work for the benefit of our residents.  Our partnership means that we can explore cutting edge technology and to think digital first wherever possible. Digital innovation will improve lives and productivity, leading to a healthier, happier and more prosperous county.

“We are fortunate to have this type of expertise here and look forward to building on this partnership to make this county a global digital leader.”

Professor Ieuan Ellis, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Partnerships and Region) said “Staffordshire University has an outstanding heritage in technology, and is at the forefront in preparing graduates and supporting businesses to embrace the transformational opportunities of digital technologies. We are leading the country for our courses in computer game design and Esports.  As a connected university that is committed to improving people’s lives across the region, and beyond, it is vital that we use our expertise to bring new opportunities and a higher quality of life to people across Staffordshire.

“Our partnership with Staffordshire County Council, who are recognised as a leading local authority, will bring real benefits to local people and businesses across the region. It will see more joined-up support and digital technologies become a fundamental part of citizen’s lives. Staffordshire sits on the cusp of becoming a truly digital county and we are proud to be playing a key role to realise this opportunity.”

Dunston Business Village

Million pound business interest free loan scheme for businesses to kick-start development

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Businesses with ambitious development plans could benefit from a new round of funding which kick-starts projects and boosts growth. The latest round of the Growing Places Fund is making £1 million available in interest-free loans to support infrastructure projects.

Projects could include development of commercial space including retail, housing or connections that will lead to more investment, regeneration and job creation. There is no upper limit for loans, which are interest free, though the minimum amount is £50,000.

The Government fund is delivered by the county council on behalf of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Previous projects using the fund have included office developments, and advanced manufacturing facility, student accommodation and infrastructure provision for industrial development.

The fund supported the expansion of Dunston Business Village, close to Junction 13 on the M6. The award-winning business park is completely occupied with a long waiting list. It has attracted a broad range of companies from all over the UK – relocating to Staffordshire and creating more jobs locally.

In order to meet the high demand for office space, Dunston Business Village added over 50,000 sq ft of office space. The development more than tripled its size. Managing director Adrian McLaughlin said: “I wanted to create an environment where businesses wanted to be and where people wanted to work.

“Most of our businesses employ between one and 60 people and the feedback I receive is how they all enjoy spending their working day here and that Staffordshire is a great location.

“Without the Growing Places Fund, we would not have been able to meet the high demand for our office space, within a reasonable time. It has enabled us to expand at a much quicker rate, which in turn has allowed our clients to expand and take on more employees. The fund has been a great success for our business and has certainly made a dramatic difference to our ability to meet demand.”

Use of the Growing Places fund to support the Dunston Business Village expansion was so successful that Adrian had a second loan application approved to expand the site even further. Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for economic growth Mark Winnington said: “The Growing Places Fund has made a real difference to a range of businesses since it was launched and is now in its 12th round.

“It has enabled extensive development which has brought in business and created jobs. Dunston Business Village is a real Staffordshire success story and expanded to provide a base for even more small businesses which play a vital part in the local economy.

“Adrian and the team at Dunston have done a fantastic job in creating the best environment for these businesses to operate and thrive.”

LEP chairman David Frost CBE said: “The Growing Places Fund is a great scheme providing interest-free or very affordable finance to help local businesses grow and thrive. This funding can really help to speed up businesses’ expansion plans and have a very positive impact on jobs and growth.

“I would urge any firms considering growth plans and who think they could be eligible for support to contact us if they would like further information.”

Businesses can qualify for loans if they are planning a scheme worth £100,000 or more. They can take advantage of an interest free loan if they can repay the money within two years of their project being completed. Beyond that period interest will be charged at the lowest commercially appropriate level.

Interested businesses can find out more by visiting or by calling the Growing Places fund team on 01785 277706.

New future earmarked for key Stoke-on-Trent city centre site

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The eyesore East-West precinct is set to be demolished after the council announced it is aiming to buy the venue and knock it down to kick-start development on the key city centre site.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has moved to buy the site in the interests of businesses, residents, visitors and the city centre’s image and regeneration. A report will go before a special meeting of the council’s cabinet on October 2, where council leaders are set to give the go ahead for the necessary land acquisition and demolition. The move would see the council, which already owns the old bus station part of the site, buy a number of individual properties or parcels of land to gain control of the majority of the site, subject to final agreement at a full council meeting on 18 October.   Demolition work could start on site as early as January, with the site cleared and a car park built for short-term use – providing extra parking spaces for the city centre and additional income for the council to reinvest in services. At the same time, the council would begin looking at the long-term options of the site with a focus on community, leisure, commercial and residential developments.   One potential option favoured by the council on part of the site is the construction of a purpose-built youth facility offering a number of services for young people aged between eight and nineteen years old. While plans are yet to be drawn up, ideas for the centre include a fitness suite, sports hall, boxing and martial arts gym, music, film and multi-media rooms, a café, arts and crafts areas as well as external activity space.   The council would spend around £4 million on acquiring the site and demolishing buildings, with a further £3.5m earmarked for the youth facility. The youth facility would aim to give young people from across the city access to somewhere exciting to go and something positive to do 364 days of the year.   Cllr Ann James, Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council said: “This is about leadership. As we’ve seen with Smithfield, Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone and the former Victoria Ground, the council forging the way with investment creates confidence. Our track record shows we get things done and that helps to attract private sector investment. That’s exactly what we want to see here, and we would welcome the views of both residents and businesses once we have looked at all the options for the site.   “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to shape the city centre and we can’t let it slip by. The alternative is to sit back and watch the site be sold piece-by-piece over the next five to fifteen years with no certainty involved, and we can’t afford for that to happen as a city.”   Cllr Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage at the city centre, said: “The decision by Realis Estates not to pursue their Unity Walk development while disappointing presents the council with a unique one-off opportunity to be able to do the right thing for Stoke-on-Trent, and that is what we intend to do.   “This is a site with huge potential, linking the excellent Potteries Centre and Hive with the burgeoning Smithfield development, and we want a development that matches our ambition and aspiration for the city. It has to be something that complements what we already have and gives people a reason to come to the city centre.   “This is one of a number of investments taking place in all six towns across the city – work such as investing in our town halls and the historic Spode site are all about galvanising regeneration in the city and showing Stoke-on-Trent is very much open for business.”   Duncan Mathieson, Managing Director of Realis Estates said: “We have spent many years putting together this strategically important site and were obviously disappointed that – despite significant investment of both time and money – we were unable to bring forward a development.

“My historic connection with Stoke-on-Trent meant that I was keen to keep the site as a whole and – prior to fully marketing the site – we approached the city council with a view to selling them our interests in order to ensure that the opportunity to transform this end of the city centre wasn’t lost.   “We have worked closely with the council over the past few months to agree a fair price and ensure that progress towards demolition could move forward while we completed the sale.  We wish them every success in the future and have no doubt they will transform this site as they have Smithfield and other parts of the city.”

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